Why I’ll Always Click Through Interactive Content

April 9, 2016

Editor's Note: This guest post was contributed by Jeremy Fetters, account director at Column Five.

Watching content marketing mature over the past few years, I've seen first-hand how various types of content behave best throughout the buyer’s journey and learned that an effective mix is crucial to every good content marketer’s toolkit. I commonly hear that interactive is too costly or time-intensive to be worth its while, which surprises me because the investment shows strong ROI when the right types of metrics are considered.

Here's why interactive content is my favorite tool in the content mix.

1. The Very Definition of Content Marketing

At it’s core, content marketing seeks to provide viewers with valuable content. I’m not getting a hard sell; I’m getting education and enjoyment, which I appreciate a whole lot more and makes me better like the brand. This Turbo Tax [investor’s equity calculator] is a great example—giving its audience a valuable widget to learn from, not just a product pitch.

2. Enhanced Storytelling

If you’re looking to tell a cool story, interactive’s pretty much the pinnacle of compelling content. Sure, I could read an e-book, but adding hover effects, scroll-activated animations, embedded video, and other elements will blow me away more than a static page ever will. You’ve probably seen this before, but The New York Times basically threw down the digital storytelling gauntlet when they published this avalanche article.

3. Choose Your Own Adventure

When I see a data set left for me to explore on my own, I feel like I’m taking a Ferrari for a spin without a sales guy yapping in my ear the whole time. I’m more likely to trust the product and spend more time enjoying it. Explorable data sets enable users to draw their own insights, which facilitates a meaningful audience–brand connection—not to mention the added time-on-site metrics it produces! Take this World Bank interactive for example, which lets users discover insights about worldwide education finance from 2002–2015.

4. More Time on Site

Above all else, good interactives are sticky. The piece of content is so cool and valuable that I’m going to want to return to play with it again and again—and I just might want to share it with my colleagues, too. The more time I’m spending with your interactive, the more opportunity you have to serve a call to action, which increases the likelihood that I’ll click through your CTA.

5. Lead Gen!

Make your interactive really cool, and I just might trade you my contact information to check it out. And if I’ve navigated 75 percent of the way through your interactive, you can be pretty certain I’m probably a pretty qualified lead. Now, that’s a compelling prospect.

Bottom line: A compelling interactive experience can elevate your brand story and get you great ROI, which is why I’m surprised I haven’t yet seen more interactive content in marketing teams’ strategies. But i hope that’ll soon change.

For more insight into creating effective content marketing programs, download The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to Content Marketing today!